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Monday, October 19, 2020

Bengal govt releases obit for its ‘alive and healthy’ minister, left red-faced

Sundarbans Development Minister Manturam Pakhira had tested positive for Covid-19 and was shifted to Beliaghata ID Hospital in Kolkata on Wednesday.

By: Express Web Desk | Kolkata | Updated: October 1, 2020 12:57:25 pm
Sundarbans Development Minister Manturam Pakhira (Source: Facebook)

In a gaffe by the West Bengal government, the state’s Information and Culture department on Wednesday issued a condolence message for state minister Manturam Pakhira who is alive. However, the department realised its mistake and withdrew the message after it was trolled on social media.

Sundarbans Development Minister Manturam Pakhira had tested positive for Covid-19 and was shifted to Beliaghata ID Hospital in Kolkata on Wednesday from Kakdwip Super Specialty Hospital. Earlier in the day, rumours started doing the rounds on social media that Pakhira had died.

Soon, the Information and Culture department released a condolence message, with speculation rife that it was published by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself. However, the minister’s family members soon stated that Pakhira was alive and healthy, leaving the government red faced.

The condolence statement was later withdrawn even as netizens called out the government for negligence and questioned how the message was released without any confirmation.

Besides Manturam Pakhira, Bengali actor and Trinamool Congress leader Soham Chakraborty was also diagnosed with Covid-19 and admitted to a private hospital.

Several state ministers, including Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Sujit Bose and Food Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick had earlier tested positive and have since recovered.

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